Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Odd Assumptions: The Continuing Desperation to Conform Science to Religion

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According to one Pete Baklinski at LifeSiteNews, “Science finds 1,500 genetic differences between boys and girls, destroys ‘transgender’ arguments.” Baklinski, by the way, has a BA from Thomas Aquinas College. Of course he does.

Nevertheless Baklinski explains:
“Overall, sex-specific genes are mainly expressed in the reproductive system, emphasizing the notable physiological distinction between men and women,” the scientists found. “However, scores of genes that are not known to directly associate with reproduction were also found to have sex-specific expression (e.g., the men-specific skin genes),” they added.

The findings suggest to the casual reader that there is much more involved in the notion of changing one’s gender to the opposite sex than simply surgery and hormonal treatment.
The quoted material is presumably from a highly regarded Israeli study published in February of this year. It is titled: The landscape of sex-differential transcriptome and its consequent selection in human adults. I am out of my depth when it comes to genetics (and that is an understatement). However, DNA carries with it instructions for cell building and maintenance. For those instructions to be followed they must be read and copied (transcribed) to RNA. Transcriptome represents the sum total of those instructions. I doubt that Mr. Baklinski could differentiate all this from the instructions on a can of condensed soup.

Perhaps the study is best summarized by this part:
Men and women have almost identical genomes but are distinctly dimorphic, with dissimilar disease susceptibilities. Sexually dimorphic traits mainly result from differential expression of genes present in both sexes.
This study is about the different disease mechanisms that men and women confront due to genetic differences. Eureka! Men and women are anatomically different! The only “argument” about transgender people is the one advanced by the pope and other religious leaders that they do not really exist.

The fact that men and women are different only serves to define the basic parameter of gender dysphoria. It is the condition simply explained as one's psychological gender at odds with anatomical sex. Transgender people find relief from the immense discomfort caused by gender dysphoria through gender affirmation.

That is all scientific fact and has been known to be scientific fact for decades. There is no known medical intervention that affects gender dysphoria. In other words, as a matter of scientific fact it is a condition that cannot be cured but the symptoms can be relieved. Mr. Baklinski's problem is that the Church does not approve of the treatment. The Church wants to pretend that gender dysphoria can be addressed through prayer (or some equally impotent approach). They reach this conclusion as theologians — not scientists.

If the pope proposed a theological approach to curing cancer, the overwhelming majority of people would trust a leading oncologist who disagrees with the pope's ideas. Why, then, do people accept the pope's judgment over leading medical professionals when it comes to human sexuality? Why can the pope, with some measure of success, presume to be any more expert in sexuality than he is on cell mutations? How is he on parasitology or urology I wonder. Endocrinology? Let us tap this great fountain of wisdom!

The investigators of the study that Baklinski likes are Moran Gershoni and Shmuel Pietrokovski. I bet that they, as professional scientists, would disagree with Baklinski's rather inelegant assumptions. “Inelegant” because they are born of ignorance and a dearth of intellectual curiosity. My most fervent hope is that the parents of gender nonconforming children do not buy into this bullshit. It represents a dividing line between faith and superstition. What Baklinski and his ilk are advocating constitutes child abuse.

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